Death of a congress ?

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
John Ariss
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: Torquay

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by John Ariss » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:47 am

David, just to let you know that thanks(seemingly) to the publicity that was generated, the entries improved and although the congress made a bigger loss than last year it wasn't terminal and are things are certainly looking up.
A lot of changes are about to be made, but rest assured the congress WILL take place next year.It is not known yet exactly what changes are to be made , venue and round times are just two things on the agenda.
A lot of lessons have been learnt and the congress will improve because of this.
It was nice to see Jack at the congress and his presence boosted the moral of the organisers , which obviously weakened the case for 'stars barred' to be reintroduced.
A lot of people approached me with ideas ,opinions and complaints - all of which have been noted and will be presented to the relevant people in due course.
I would especially to thank Gerry Jepps for his input, concern and ideas . look forward to being over subscribed next year :wink:
Will keep all informed of developments as they happen

Sean Hewitt

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:38 am

How many played in the end?

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 4260
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:14 am

Dvid Pardoe >That is...to put a clause on entry forms saying that `Prize fund might vary depending on entry levels, and sections revised if necessary to reflect entry numbers and balance sections`. These changes would apply if exceptionally high or low numbers entered any particular sections...or unforseen circumstances arose, and would be at the discretion of the controller.<

I am sure that would put some people off playing. They would be justifiably suspicious that the level of prize money would always go down and never up. In fact I don't remember hearing of any event where the prize money was increased due to a good turn out, but not trumpeted in advance, other than those I ran in the 1960s.

You can have a prize fund that is expressed in terms of the number of entries. Thus £200 50 players. £500 100 players and so on. I haven't noticed such a system being popular.

Hastings has some events with sections of approximately 16 and the organisers arrange them in grading bands. This seems OK, but that principal for that event is very long established. I suspect they would get more entries if there were specific named grading limits. For a weekend tournament such placing of players into appropriate sections would be a great deal of work.

Stewart Reuben

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 4260
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:17 am

Oh dear. I wrote principal when it should have been principle. 0/10.
Roobins Stooart

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19349
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:39 am

Stewart Reuben wrote: I suspect they would get more entries if there were specific named grading limits.
Unclear I think. In a major Swiss, even the Hastings Masters, your least likely opponents are those of almost the same grade diagonally opposite you in the first round. You may however get a grandstand view of their games during the rest of the tournament. For most of the tournament your likely opposition is at least 100 points above or below your own rating.

An event where you are almost guaranteed to be facing opposition within sight of your own rating can be a welcome change from those where you are alternately the rabbit and the hunter.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:46 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:In fact I don't remember hearing of any event where the prize money was increased due to a good turn out, but not trumpeted in advance, other than those I ran in the 1960s.
You may not have heard about it Stewart, but e2e4 has increased the prize fund and paid out more than advertised at every e2e4 event bar one!

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 4260
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:37 pm

Sean - Excellent

Roger - I only said I suspected. It depends on what the players are seeking and how sophisticated they are. If a player wants to play opponents within his own playing strength - then of course small graded sections are best if a Swiss. Better still would be round robin sections of 6. But they have gone completely out of fashion.
I think players like the following dialogue. 'I played in a chess tournament this weekend' 'Oh, yes. Did you see the football on telly?' 'The winner got £200.' 'I didn't realise you could win so much, that's really interesting.' Not many amateur sports offer cash prize money for players apart from chess and poker.

Stewart Reuben

Brendan O'Gorman
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:54 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Sean - Excellent

Better still would be round robin sections of 6. But they have gone completely out of fashion.

Stewart Reuben
Unfashionable perhaps, but not extinct. The Idle Chess club are running their second five round all-play-all from 24-26 June. Details and entry form here: http://www.idlechessclub.org.uk/page6.html

Stewart Reuben
Posts: 4260
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: writer

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:26 pm

It has occurred to me that a new thread could be started of a Which Survey of congresses, both in Britain and abroad. I am no longer a typical consumer. Any volunteers.
Stewart Reuben

Brendan O'Gorman
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:27 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:It has occurred to me that a new thread could be started of a Which Survey of congresses, both in Britain and abroad. I am no longer a typical consumer. Any volunteers.
Stewart Reuben
As someone who gets to most English congresses in the course of the year, I'm tempted. First, however, I'd like to discuss the idea further with some other members of the barmy army, partly to dilute my prejudices and partly to seek the safety of numbers (if any organiser or arbiter took offence, I'd like to be able to blame someone else!).

John Ariss
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: Torquay

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by John Ariss » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:49 am

In reply to Seans question 114, still well below break even , but not as bad as it could have been. At the risk getting egg on my face, should some of the new proposals go through I feel that entries will be much improved at next years event(cue-dons tin hat , ducks and prepares himself :roll: )

Gordon Cadden
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:57 pm

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Gordon Cadden » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:25 am

Regarding Gareth Harley-Yeo's comments - Do stars barred chessplayers seriously expect to make money playing chess ? Also played in that Chepstow Stars Barred event. The entries increased considerably over the previous year, because the strong players were barred. But is this fair on the stronger players ? Reverse discrimination does not give chess a healthy future. Playing for money, I am well aware that I would have a better chance of winning on the 2.30 at Chepstow Races.
Last edited by Gordon Cadden on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:36 am

John Ariss wrote:In reply to Seans question 114, still well below break even , but not as bad as it could have been. At the risk getting egg on my face, should some of the new proposals go through I feel that entries will be much improved at next years event(cue-dons tin hat , ducks and prepares himself :roll: )
John - thanks for this.

For what it's worth, I believe that a weekend congress that does not break even with an entry of 120 has it's cost base too high and that's the area that I would concentrate on to make the event financially viable.

For example, the e2e4 congress this weekend currently has 128 entrants without having printed any entry forms, or paid for a single stamp to post information to players. We've done this by having all information online including a downloadable entry form and the facility to enter and pay online. This saves about £150 in printing costs and about £90 in postage.

Not all congresses can do that of course, but relying on more than 120 entries is a dangerous game to play in my opinion. Many weekends get less than 100 entrants.

David Sedgwick
Posts: 4261
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:06 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:Regarding Gareth Harley-Yeo's comments - Do stars barred chessplayers seriously expect to make money playing chess ? Also played in that Chepstow Stars Barred event. The entries increased considerably over the previous year, because the strong players were barred. But is this fair on the stronger players ? Reverse discrimination does not give chess a healthy future. Playing for money, I am well aware that I would have a better chance of winning on the 2.30 at Chepstow Races.
Most don't enter for the money as such, but they like the idea that, at least some of the time, they have the chance of winning an event, or featuring in the main prize list.

Isn't this is one of the reasons why have Majors, Intermediates, Minors, etc, not just Opens?

However, the upper grading limit for the second section, usually called the Major, is unlikely to be above ECF 180. Unless an Open is unusually weak, the only chance for players in the 180 - 200 range is in a stars barred event.

No-one is suggesting that all weekend congresses should become stars barred. However, it would be nice to have a few more such events than is currently the case.

User avatar
Rob Thompson
Posts: 757
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: Behind you

Re: Death of a congress ?

Post by Rob Thompson » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:46 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:However, the upper grading limit for the second section, usually called the Major, is unlikely to be above ECF 180. Unless an Open is unusually weak, the only chance for players in the 180 - 200 range is in a stars barred event.
In that case, almost all opens in Devon count as unusually weak. 180 players. and definitely 190s, have a real chance of prize money at events local to me
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

Post Reply